CHAPTER 22- SPLITSVILLE
Emerging from the archway, Gwen, Simon and Tex slowly stepped into the next room, standing so close together they were almost holding hands like schoolchildren on the playground. Eager yet tense with anticipation, Gwen stepped ahead of the other two, her eyes carefully adjusting to the dim light. Simon and Tex followed suit and flanked her on the right and left, when all of a sudden the door behind them slammed shut, covering them in total darkness.
“What the hell?” Gwen shouted, turning back around and spotting a door much different than the rusty iron frame they had just passed through moments earlier. There instead was a large red door with black trim and a small frosted glass window with bars overlaying it.
“Where...are we?” Simon asked hesitantly, looking around at his strange surroundings as Tex took a seat on the steep staircase directly in front of them.
“What are you doing?” Gwen asked.
But before she could get an answer, a mysterious screeching sound emanated from the walls of the living room, nearly shattering their ear drums while each side of the wall began to crack rapidly.
“Ahhh!” the young cowboy screamed, holding his ears as his ten-gallon hat fell to the ground nearby. In what felt like a mini-earthquake, all three of the teens were bent over in pain for a few moments until the rumbling stopped and the screeching finally ceased, bringing about an eerie calm to the inside of the house.
“It’s okay, Tex,” Gwen winced, picking his hat up and dusting it off. “We’re here.”
“Where we’re supposed to be.”
“Ohhh, I’m not sure I want to be here,” Simon interrupted, standing between them. “Are you sure this is right, Gwen?”
“Well I’m not sure how right it is, but I know we’re on the right path. And if we keep going, one of two things will happen. One, we’ll find Lexi and Ty and then we can get out of here.”
“And what’s two?”
“Two is we’ll find Freddy first and have the fight of our lives. But somehow, I think one and two are related. Wherever we find Krueger, we’ll also find Lexi and Ty. I’m sure of it.”
“Makes sense,” Tex pondered, looking at the cracks on the wall, which were accompanied by loose hanging wallpaper and empty, broken picture frames. Dirt seemed to be caked onto every inch of the wall, including the partitions and even the small candelabras that hung every couple of feet. “But I know one thing. I’m getting tired of standing here, so I think we should get a move on.”
“Agreed,” Gwen stated, venturing toward the living room.
“Wh-Where you going?” Simon asked, his voice cracking with fear.
“That sound came from in there,” she replied. “I’d say that’s as good a place as any to start, right?”
“Right,” Tex added, grabbing some courage and following her into the room, followed by Simon, who simply didn’t want to be left alone.
Passing through the room, they found nothing but dirt, grime and filth, spread evenly across the way, settling down to the couch, love seat, and even the recliner in the far corner. Sneezing from the mountain of dust, the trio continued on their way out of the room, where another door blocked their path to an adjacent room.
Looking at each other, no one said a word as Gwen threw open the door and they cautiously entered, not sure what to expect.
As the door slid open, they were surprised to find that the room was nothing more than a narrow passageway surrounded by mirrors on all sides. Dozens and dozens of mirrors lined each of the towering walls to their left and right, and the entire area was carpeted a crimson red.
Continuing on, Simon saw his reflection in a couple of the mirrors and shrieked, jumping behind Tex who couldn’t help but laugh at him. “It’s okay, little buddy,” Tex assured him. “They’re just mirrors, see. We’re all around the room.”
Giggling vociferously, Tex ran around the room waving at his reflection, shouting and whistling at what appeared to be a hundred clones of himself and the others. Gwen just chuckled and made her way to the far end of the room, determined to pass through safely.
However, when Tex reached the last reflection of himself, something didn’t seem right. He stared attentively at his face, pointing out all the imperfections he noticed. The happy smile he boasted only moments earlier was gone. In its place was a gaping snarl, accompanied by a longer-than-average nose. Even his trademark cowboy hat was gone, instead replaced by a floppy brown fedora.
By the time he realized it was Fred Krueger, the mirror shattered into a million pieces, and Freddy snatched him by the collar and yanked him inside to a world of total darkness.
Screaming, Gwen rushed to the now-gateway to the netherworld, but it didn’t matter. Tex had already gone through the portal.
“Oh my god what happened!” Simon shouted, backing into the wall opposite where Gwen stood. “Was that...Was that...?”
“FREDDY!” came the deep, abrasive voice of the notorious night stalker, who smashed the mirror directly behind Simon and yanked him backward into the shadows.
“Simon! NOOOOO!” Gwen yelled, but it was too late.
Both Simon and Tex were gone, and she was all alone at the mercy of this madman.
“Ahhahahahahah!” Freddy’s sadistic laughter echoed throughout the room as Gwen desperately tried to escape the room.
“You’ll never escape me,” Krueger informed her. “You’re mine now, Gwenny!”
However, as soon as he said that, the door at the far end of the room busted open with a bang, and in stepped Ty, with Lexi right behind him.
“Gwen!” Lexi yelled, running past Ty and to her roommate’s side, hugging her tightly. “I knew you would come. I’m so glad to see you.”
“I’m glad to see you, too,” Gwen replied, a tear trickling down her cheek.
“Hey...can’t a brother get no love?” Ty jokingly complained from afar as he approached them.
“Ohhh, I’m happy to see you , too, Ty,” Gwen exclaimed, giving him a big bear-hug.
“Where are all the others?” Lexi inquired. “We need the strength in numbers.”
“He already got Suzette and I’m pretty sure Maria, too,” Gwen responded. “And he just took Simon and Tex right out from under me. It’s like we’ve all gone splitsville. Damnit, I should have stopped him!!!”
“You can’t stop him alone, Gwen,” Lexi calmly interrupted, hoping to quell her emotions. “It is going to take everything we got if we are going to make it out of here alive.”
“I don’t plan on dying anytime soon,” Ty interjected. “So it’s time to stop fuckin’ and start truckin’!!! YO, Freddy, where ya at you flame-broiled motherfucker?!!”
“Ty, this isn’t a game,” Lexi reiterated. “If you die in here, you’re dead for real.”
“I know that, baby,” Ty replied, messing with her. “This is how I warm up for a fight.”
“AWWWWWWWWW, how sweet,” Freddy’s voice quipped from overhead, interrupting their chat. “The little chillens think they got a plan. Well, I’ve got a plan for you all. How bout this!!!”
And just like that, in a matter of seconds, all three members of the triad were jerked backward through different mirrors on the wall, vanishing quickly in a sea of broken glass as if all three were connected to bungee cords.
“Now the fun can REALLY begin!!!” Freddy concluded hysterically as all three of the teens screamed and yelled for their lives, totally separate from one another, and more importantly, their strength in numbers.
Proceed To Chapter 23
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